Writing Challenges: What Happens When I Work Alone by Jessie Clemence

on Jul 10, 2017 in Blog | 4 comments

Whenever I’m confronted with writing problems, I always choose the exact wrong thing. I withdraw from everyone. To be fair, my choice is pretty consistent with my personality in general; it’s not just writing that forces me into solitude.

But solitude it is. That’s always my first choice whenever I’m stressed out, afraid I’m going to be exposed as the imposter I so clearly am, or fresh out of ideas for the next project.

That’s generally how I process all problems in life—slowly, carefully, and all by my lonesome. Frequently I walk and mull over whatever’s bothering me. Often I find a solution as I meander alone.

But sometimes the opposite happens. My solitude can be the perfect opportunity for negative thoughts—even the enemy himself, sometimes—to whisper failure into my mind. Listen to enough defeating thoughts and they start to feel like the truth.

What started out as a challenge suddenly turns dark and permanently disabling.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Never once have I felt like a failure if I started with prayer. When I turn to God first, he meets me in that challenge. A connection with him brings truth and encouragement, not despair.

When I also reach out to my writer friends, I find encouragement on a new level. I’m not alone. I’m not the only one frustrated with my current project and terrified of the next one. I’m not the only one who despairs of today’s publishing environment and dreads platform building with every cell in her being.

I am not alone. No matter how comfortable solitude is to me, I have to reach out for connection if I have any chance of succeeding at this calling. Thanks to conferences like Breathe that are full of friends who journey with me, I can walk with friends and God through the challenges.

We were never meant to do this alone. I’m so thankful for a writing community that ensures I don’t have to write in solitude.

Jessie Clemence has been writing for seven years and blogging for four. She’s the author of two books: If I Plug My Ears, God Can’t Tell Me What to Do, and There’s a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse. Through the books and the blog she encourages readers to a living, active faith with her slightly wackadoodle sense of humor and sarcasm. She also shamelessly exaggerates whenever she can, simply because she can’t help herself. You can find her at jessieclemence.com.


  1. It’s a balancing act – alone time and time with others. Much as I love solitude, I can get too much of a good thing, and, like you said, start to become negative and discouraged. It’s nice to be able to reach out to other writers through this blog. Thank you for your post.

    Patricia Robertson

    July 11, 2017

  2. Jessie…I am thankful for you, too! I love your wit and wisdom! Well-written words on finding the balance between solitude and community. We need both! Thanks for the reminder to stay connected to God, who is with us in our alone time and leads us to connections with other writers, too.

    Denise Vredevoogd

    July 11, 2017

  3. This is a good reminder for me, too. My first response is to retreat from the world when what I may really need is connection with others. Thank you for this reminder!

    Tammy Allison

    July 12, 2017

  4. Jessie, your post felt like I was reading a page out of my journal. Thank you for your honesty and words of encouragement. We as human beings need relationships with God and others. I need this reminder, a lot.

    Catie Cordero

    July 19, 2017

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